Monday, January 30, 2017

My breast pump and I have a serious love+hate relationship. I hate having to get hooked up to the thing. Yet I love that my sweet boy can be nourished the best way I know how, when I'm away at work. And since I'm still working part-time, my pump and I have to be friends.

The first few weeks after I went back to work, all I took in my pumping bag was my pump, the parts, and bottle lids. I spent all day pumping, every 2 hours, to just barely get enough to feed Joseph for the next day. STRESSFUL.

I slowly began to add items to my bag that made my pumping experience so much easier. Happier pumping = more milk. Moo.

+O N E
A good bag that you actually like is important...why is it important? Because if you're like me, your pump will go lots of places with you. A good bag makes you happy. I love my Vera Bradley drawstring backpack. It's the perfect size to hold everything I need for pumping, including my pump!
Click here to buy Vera Bradley Drawstring Backpack.

+T W O
Having a good breast pump is obviously essential. I love my Medela Pump In Style Advanced. It's compact, double pumps, has a let down phase, and it's relatively quiet. I was able to get mine FOR FREE through our insurance by visiting

+T H R E E
Spare parts are so essential. You never know what will happen and when you'll need them. Like the time I got to work and realized I didn't pack ANY membranes because I accidentally let them go down the garbage disposal. I've got an extra set of flanges, valves, and membranes that I never take out of my bag.
Click here to buy spare parts.

+F O U R
Rather than taking tons of extra bottles with me, I keep milk storage bags with me. Once I get home I throw them in the freezer and I don't have to worry about washing ANOTHER bottle.
Click here to buy Target's Up & Up Milk Storage Bags.  

+F I V E
Breast pads. Because if you're a lactating mother, you're probably going to leak. I have to keep breast pads in 24/7. Sometimes, I take them out of my shirt to pump, and then I forget where I put them. So I always keep a few extra around.
Click here to buy Target's Up & Up Breast Pads.

+S I X
Lanolin is a new addition to my bag. I used Lanolin like it was going out of style during the early days in my breast feeding journey. I always hated the way pumping felt, and then I had the brilliant ideal to bring the lanolin back. My favorite is Lansinoh because they use 100% lanolin and no preservatives.
Click here to buy Lansinoh lanolin.

+S E V E N
Milk supply is usually a constant thought to the nursing mother. I began drinking UpSpring Milk Flow once a day while I was pumping. It contains herbs that help boost supply. And since one of the keys to being able to pump a good amount is staying hydrated, having to drink this helps with that hydration issue. Berry is my favorite flavor offered. If you're worried about food allergies, this supplement is gluten, dairy, and soy free.
Click here to buy UpSpring Milk Flow Berry.

+E I G H T
I like to drink my water ice cold. Once it starts to get warm, I don't want it. I also suck at drinking water. So having a cute water bottle that keeps my water cold all day helps me drink more. I make sure every time I sit down to pump, I drink an entire bottle full of water.
Click here to buy Swell Insulated Water Bottle. 

+N I N E
If you are going to leave milk out for longer than 3 hours, it needs to be refrigerated. Medela guidelines recommend putting the milk in a cooler bag with 3 ice packs. The cooler bag I bought rolls down so it can be pretty compact. Plus it was less than $4 at Target!
Click here to buy Embark Rolltop Lunch Sack.
Click here to buy ice packs.

+T E N
A handsfree pumping bra is literally heaven on earth. It frees up your hands and keeps your pump parts in the right spot. Plus, it's a little snug so the compression helps with milk expression.
Click here to buy Medela Easy Expression Handsfree Bustier.

What are your must-haves in your pumping bag? Leave your favorites in the comments below!